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Why you should encourage staff to take a break from their desks

Good news for desk-dwellers. Just one hour of moderate activity per day can cancel out any negative health effects from sitting in the office all day.

Many people in office-based jobs can’t avoid sitting down for more than eight hours a day, but any short breaks away can help significantly improve their health. With this in mind, a new study urges employers to be understanding about staff taking breaks away from their desk.

It’s no secret that spending all day every day hunched over a desk isn’t doing your employees any good. Research has long confirmed the connection between high amounts of sedentary behaviour and poor health.

The new study published in The Lancet, analysing research data from over one million men and women, once again confirms that sitting for more than eight hours a day without exercising increases the risk of premature death by 60%.

But it’s not all bad news. The international team of researchers also found that just one hour’s moderate activity a day completely eliminates the increased risk.

Although a brisk walk or cycle ride are some of the preferred modes of exercise, the scientists point out that even a trip to the coffee machine or printer could contribute to reducing the negative effects of sitting. To make things even easier, the exercise can be split up into shorter periods throughout the day, as long as the overall amount totals one hour.

“This report is showing that inactivity kills,” UK Active’s executive editor Steven Ward told the Telegraph. “When we realised this about smoking we tackled it – we need to do the same about our office culture.”

ALSO READ: Can you lose weight simply by sitting less in the office?

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